What About the Science?
The Tea Party group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), founded by David and Charles Koch, of Koch Industries, a major oil and gas conglomerate is the most influential so-called super PAC, whose president, Tim Phillips has said “there’s no question…[AFP] has been instrumental in the rise of Republican candidates who question or deny climate science. We’ve made great headway. What it means for candidates on the Republican side is, if you buy into green energy or play footsie on this issue, you do so at your political peril. The vast majority of people who are involved in the [Republican] nominating process-the conventions and the primaries- are suspect of the science. And that’s our influence. Groups like Americans for Prosperity have done it.” As Koch Industries has lobbied aggressively against climate-change policy, AFP has spearheaded an all-fronts campaign using advertising, social media, and cross-country events aimed at electing lawmakers who will ensure the profits of the oil industry. Read more: http://www.truth-out.org/koch-
Allegations of scientific fraud regarding climate change research have been widely reported in the news. This so-called "Climategate" has led many otherwise intelligent people to discount the theory of human-caused climate change. While it might be appealing to believe it is all a fraud, the vast body of science still points toward a large human contribution to climate change, and critical examination of the fraud claims reveal that most of them were taken out of context, or misinterpreted. Further, the media responsibility to report just as widely that the ‘Climategate’ science and scientists have been vindicated and cleared by 3 separate scientific investigative bodies was shirked, with barely a mention of these results! More below:
The Berkley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) Project, conducted by American physicist, Richard Muller, stated that “Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that.” The BEST study, ironically, was funded by the Koch brothers, who likely would have preferred a different outcome. Read more:http://www.nationofchange.org/
There is yet some question among climate scientists over the percentage of human contribution to climate change, although the vast majority agree our contribution is very large. Even if you feel climate change is mostly natural, fossil fuels represent a non-renewable, depleting, and polluting source of energy. For the future, we must move away from extremely polluting and slowly vanishing fuels toward renewable sources of energy.
Climate Change is a Great and Growing Problem!! Let your Legislators and Civic Leaders Know this is an Overwhelmingly Important Issue!!
Plan a discussion with your elected leaders, friends, and family. Here are some talking points to get the discussion started
1) The consequences of not taking strong enough action are far worse than the financial hit many perceive from climate legislation.
2) Supporting appropriate climate legislation will encourage a new, green -energy economy, keep US energy dollars and millions of new, cleaner, safer jobs at home, reduce dependence on foreign oil, increase homeland security, and help America lead the world in renewable, clean, energy technology and manufacturing.
3) Any legislation must have provisions for those who would be adversely hit financially. These safety-net provisions should be sufficient to protect lower-middle income and poorer people. Individuals earning more than these levels should be able to absorb associated costs and will ultimately enjoy the rewards of the redirected economic focus on a cleaner economy.
4) Legislation must produce significant improvements in the environment that will ultimately benefit human and other life on the planet. A cleaner environment will ultimately save healthcare dollars for individuals, as well as state and federal government.
5) Global supply and demand will ultimately lead to war if we do not start to build a renewable energy economy. We will be competing with countries such as China and India as they develop their economies. There is a century or less ofeconomically recoverable, yet polluting, fossil fuel sources---including less than 75 years of uranium, according to Big Energy's Conoco-Phillips. These sources and companies have been subsidized while making record profits, sidetracking investment in renewables. Prices from these limited, finite sources will reflect supply and demand and continue to rise. It's time to change to renewables---change that we, the taxpayers, pay for---carbon credits can be a tool to use for this change and will help build a clean, responsible energy future.
6) Whether one agrees that humans are causing the climate crisis, we have amoral obligation to lead the world and our country to a more sustainable future, one that is healthier, and a future with energy prices eventually stabilizing and dropping like other consumer goods, as all countries become more energy independent with renewables. As we do this, we must keep the reduction of greenhouse gases as our foremost goal---for example, certain biofuels can be too water intensive in a drying climate, and cause deforestation by increased need for land. Poorly thought out, or hasty solutions, or ones that only benefit a particular industry, can contribute to the climate crisis more than they reduce it.
7) In order to stabilize the climate, scientists agree that we must keep the CO2concentration at around 350 parts per million. We are currently at 389 PPM and rising. The American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) sets a goal of 450 PPM. We can see what is happening now at 389 PPM. It's clear we need to hold or reduce emissions below what we have now. Effective legislation must set a limit of 400 PPM, or less. The number and severity of weather related disasters in Missouri has increased over the last several years. These disasters hit hard, causing loss of livelihood, industry and taxpayer dollars. For this and other reasons, Missouri SEMA officials were prompted to state, in late January of 2008, that weather may now be the greatest threat to homeland security.
8) Finally, any legislation must not undo progress made before, such as language that would weaken our long-standing Clean Air Act, or weaken EPA authority.
Here are a couple of sample letters for inspiration!! Both were published as op-editorials in area papers.
COMPREHENSIVE CLIMATE/ENERGY and ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION
We put our economy, our security, and our environment in great peril when we don’t move quickly to super efficiency and safer, cleaner, renewable sources of energy. Passing a comprehensive climate and energy bill this year is urgent and the American Power Act is a good starting place.
The following need to be included in any Climate/Energy legislation passed by the Senate and House:
While the Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act has good elements it needs to be more comprehensive, strengthened by the following:
1) The Gulf Coast drilling disaster has become the worst environmental disaster in American history. Further, we are seeing more coal mining disasters and natural gas pipelines exploding. There must be an immediate moratorium on any additional offshore drilling. Safeguards, with adequate oversight, must be developed and in place for all underground energy sources/fuel supplies.
2) There must be strong investment in and subsidies for conservation, efficiency, and renewable sources of energy, including wind, solar, tidal, small-hydro, along with certain biofuels that will not effect world food costs and supplies, or water and land availability, of which algae is a good example. There must also be decreasing investment in fossil fuel and nuclear energy programs, which have received long-term financial taxpayer support. These sources are dirty, dangerous and damaging, while diverting financial investment in renewable energy.
3) 17% Greenhouse Gases (GHG) reductions from 2005 levels are way below what climate experts feel we should be at, which is a minimum of 25%-40% lower than 1990 levels before 2020. If scientific projections of human contribution to global climate change have even a chance of being right, we have a strong moral obligation to quickly reduce C02/GHG emissions. In the process, we will become the world’s leaders in a new clean energy economy, instead of falling behind other countries already building this new global economy.
Further, the authority of the Clean Air Act and the ability of the EPA to enforce it must be kept strong, individual state’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions must be allowed, there must be appropriate investment in international efforts to find solutions on climate change in both mitigation and adaptation, and timetables must reflect the urgency of the need to move quickly to safer, cleaner, renewable energy.
Legislation opposing the Supreme Court’s Endangerment Finding, which states the EPA, through the Clean Air Act, can regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions, as these emissions are an endangerment to public health, must be opposed and understood as having greater financial concern for the health of “Big Energy” than for the physical health and well-being of the American public. These attempts, including the Murkowski Resolution, are essentially “giveaways” to Big Energy at the expense of the American taxpayer and public health and welfare.
Columbia Climate Change Coalition
Interfaith Care for Creation
Founder and President
(573) 443-4717 (573) 777-2216